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HSG- what's it like? Your experiences please

Hi there ladies,

I've just had my first appointment at a FC and have to have yet more blood tests and an HSG. I just wondered what your experiences are of this procedure? Is it painful, how long does it take, does it give useful information? My issues are around ovulation- Dr wanted to check on the quality and 'movement' of my eggs before prescribing clomid- does this sound familiar to anyone? Am feeling a bit overwhelmed, but after 13 months, I'll do anything I have to!

Thank you xx


  • Hiya, not sure if my answer is what you want to hear, but I wish someone had told me when I asked! I found the procedure itself VERY painful, so much so that I almost passed out - and I did take painkillers before I go. HOWEVER, my consultant told me that I have quite a tight cervix and this was why it hurt so much. On the positive side, I got to see the image, so I've seen my insides image. I think I'm quite gruesomely obsessed with all things biological, and I thought it was really cool! Another positive is that it doesn't take long at all (although it felt like forever at the time), I reckon it didn't take more than a minute for the actual procedure, and I was told there and then the results.

    I went home after that and took more painkillers and went to bed with a hot water bottle, so it eased off pretty quickly and I was fine the next day.

    Hope it is much better for you. Good luck
  • Hi Mrs H. I can't help I'm afraid but I read the post because I'm also waiting for my HSG. When will yours be? xXx
  • Hi guys,

    I had a much more positive experience. It involved wearing one of those smocks (like you have on at hair-dressers! Lying on the table and having a very small tube inserted. I hardly felt that. Then they push the dye through the tube, into you uterus and out through your fallopian tubes. This was painful, but very, very quick- I would kind-of equate it to about 3 times as painful as nettle stings??? (only thing I can think of!!. I find gum injections at the dentist more unpleasant.

    I also got my results straight away.

    I would guess that the "movement" of your eggs the gynae is referring to, might mean testing for ovulation using bloods and ultrasound scans?? I had an u/s to see if there were any cysts and follicles developing, then follicle tracking when I started clomid (thats cool, as I had never really known whether I ovulated or not-except for the one time I got pg- and now I know I did!)

    So go for it and think of the results rather than the investigations.

    T x
  • Ooooh Windy Miller don't say its worse than nettle stings because I am allergic :lol: I'd rather have the dentist needle thanks.

    I don't know about you Mrs H but I cant wait for mine whether it hurts like Mrs Doc's did or is not too bad like Windy Miller's. I just want to get a BFP and get one NOW!! :lol:
  • Hi ladies

    Well mine wasn't bad at all. Apart from the initial slight discomfort of the speculum (like what they use for a smear test,) I never felt the tube go in and didn't feel anything when the dye went in either. Piece of cake really. Afew slight cramps afew hours later but didn't require any paracetamol or anything, oh and abit of spotting. Although a friend of mine said hers was very painful, everyone has different a different anatomy and pain threshold. Honestly, don't worry - just relax and i'm sure you'll be fine!

    Holl xxx
  • G/cing - I had mine in July 2009 and it was quite uncomfortable but I have a tilted cervix so that doesn't help. What I would say is grin and bear it - I conceived that cycle (about 9 days later!) after 18 months ttc. They told me there and then that everything was clear but I truly believe the 'clearing out' was what helped us in the end. Good luck! x
  • Thank you everyone- Mrs Doc, it is defo best to be prepared! What painkillers did you take before hand? Hollie- yours sounded v straight forward- did it sound as though yours was a fairly typical reaction? (she says hopefully!!) Fantastic news about it 'clearing out the pipes' KayeCee... makes any pain all worth while, I'll defo hold that in mind! Windy- great that you get results straight away, I hadn't realised that although they must have told me! It's always so hard to take everything in during these appointments! I'd find follicle tracking really reassuring too as my biggest fear is that I've not got any eggs at all in here...hopefully we'll get some answers soon. They're also doing a blood test on CD3 which I haven't had before- I think that gives more info about ovulation hormones?

    I haven't got a date yet Emmie- I have to wait for AF and then phone for an appointment which will be before CD12. AF is due around Tuesday next week, but is sometimes a bit shy, so may be longer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's within the next couple of weeks though! Please do keep in touch and let me know when yours is! xxx
  • Mrs H you're very lucky. Where I live there is a big waiting list for the HSG. I am expecting mine in December or January (she said 6 to 7 months) so I'm in for a bit of a wait. I considered having it privately but my GP said it's not worth it and to carry on trying for a few more months. I guess he is right as it would be September cycle before it was done and then it will only be 3 months anyway. All the best for yours. Let me know how you get on. xXx
  • hi Mrs H, I came back on here because I felt quite bad about being so negative! I have to say that although mine was very painful, I didn't mind it so much because I knew it was all in a good cause, if you know what I mean?

    I took Ibuprofen before I went (about half an hour), and then some more that evening.

    It's totally worth getting it done, as then you'll know better what's going on (or not!)

    Good luck

  • Ahh, thanks Mrs Doc! I've got exactly the same attitude- I'm willing to go through anything I have to so that I can get that BFP! xx
  • Hello again, I wanted to ask you a bit more about how those of you who have had HSGs got them booked- I thought things were moving on forward nicely here, but having phoned the hospital today on CD1 (always a horrible day at the best of times) was told that the consultant is away for two weeks so I'll have to 'try again' next month! Sounds like this could be an ongoing issue as presumably next month, there will be twice as many people trying to book appointments! I don't really know what to do but wondered how it worked for you?

    It's my birthday next week and I just feel like I'm soon going to be too old to try anything other than IVF. Hubs and I always talked about having a big family, but it seems to be increasinly unlikely. image It's always 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Oh, CD1 is just so hard!! xx
  • Hiya, I had the same issue with my HSG - I guess the leaflet I was given made it look like you got your period, phoned them and they fitted you in - I told the receptionist that I was surprised by that, and she said you can use contraception this month if you're worried about getting pregnant...... image Speechless! Mind you, once I got the appointment, it was within a matter of days that I had the procedure done.

    How old are you going to be, if you don't mind me asking? xx
  • I became really exasperated that they could never fit me in so i paid to have it done privately. Booked the appt and had the hsg a couple of days later x
  • Hi Mrs Doc- I'm going to be 33... I know that fertility drops significantly at 35 and am worried that I'm already there... So worried about whether I'm going to have any healthy eggs at all. I want all the answers now!

    KayeCee- I'm really interested in hearing more about getting your HSG done privately. If you don't mind, please could you tell me some more about how this worked? Did you just have to pay for that and then get the rest of the treatment back on the NHS? I'm not sure how well private and nhs services work together. How did you find the right consultant? It would feel good to be doing something positive again!

    Thanks xx
  • Hello i had my SG a bit ago and found it an ok experience. It was uncomfortable, similar to having a smear done i thought!

    youll be fine!!

    they put you in a wonderfully attractive smock/theatre gown and you lie on a table with your legs in the air while they put a little tube thru your foo-foo hehe

    not bad really, i got my results there and then too xxx
  • Mrs H- I thought about going private and the prices I found were around ??500. I was told we could have that bit done privately without it affecting the rest of the procedure being done on the NHS. Basically mine is either in Dec/Jan. I am fed up of waiting now and thought about going private. However the doctor has told me there is no point in doing this as my next appointment with the gynaecologist is in February and whatever the result from the HSG, they won't bring it forward anyway. So I guess whether or not its worth going private depends on when your next appointment is. He basically said that the NHS don't let people short-cut procedures just because they can afford to pay for it. The only way to get sorted fast is to go private completely. I hope this helps xXx
  • Mrs H3, I'm already 35, and on a 2 year wait for IVF (if the IUI doesn't work), so please don't think you're too old yet!

    I watched on of the "Cherry does....." programmes on BBC last night and a lot of the issues were made by 'society'. I think society expects us to have our families done and dusted by 30, but if you look back, lots of women were still having babies in their 40s over 50 years ago (My gran was 41 when she had my mum). So I guess what I'm trying to say is, age is only a number. I try to weigh it up by thinking about what I can provide for/ how I can cope/ what I'm able to offer a baby that I wouldn't have been/ had 15 years ago (even 10 years ago!).
  • I do agree with you Mrs Doc- my husband and I have planned our married life around having children, we've saved enough money to cover my maternity leave and we are ready for a child in a way we would not have been 10 years ago. I guess with the advances with modern medicine, age really is becoming 'just a number'. I think I've just got early cycle blues- I keep looking forward to things I see as a positive step (FC appointment, HSG) but don't seem to get anywhere. It's very frustrating! How do you manage being on a 2 year waiting list for IVF? That must be really tough- I don't know anything about IUI- is that something which is often tried prior to IVF? As always, ttc seems to be about looking forward to our absolute goal and hanging on to that certainty that we will get there. x
  • MrsH3, the other thing you have to think about with statistics, is they are just that. A load of numbers!! Dependin on who correlates the statistics and what age ranges they go with makes a huge difference. They don't assess each year separately. For instance, if they group ages 35-45, the lower fertility of a 45 year old would pull down the average for the 35 year old.

    Simply put, when wake up on your 35th birthday, your eggs aren't going to drop down dead!!

    Saying all that, though, I completely empathise with your feelings. I am 33 and worry about edging into my late 30's and have resigned myself to a smaller family.

    Oh, and move to Shropshire- I have had no problem with waiting lists. Fertility clinic have been great too.
  • So we had had our first appt with our NHS consultant who said he wanted me to have an HSG and told me how to go about it. After a couple of months of no joy getting it booked I found a Spire hospital locally who do the procedure (I think we paid ??320 in 2009). I had the procedure and they then sent the results to my NHS consultant.

    The point about your next appt is def one to bear in mind but I got around this by a few grovelling phone calls to his secretary. A lot of these consultants work privately too so I phoned her, told her I was paying privately and that I was willing to also pay for a follow up consultation (privately) to bring my NHS appt forward so that we could move onto the next stage quicker. After building up a bit of a rapport with her she actually brought our NHS appt forward by a good few months (he'd added another clinic one afternoon and she called and gave me the first appt). Unfortunately, you have to be really persistent with getting the appts that you want but it can be done. I was also told I could ringthe (NHS) hospital weekly to try and get a cancellation but I never had any joy doing that.

    Let me know if you need any more info! Good luck x
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